Junaid Hafeez’s conviction in the blasphemy case has come after an eventful trial was conducted. With eight judges changed in the course of six years and the lawyer of the accused – Rashid Rehman – murdered a year after he took up the case, before citing numerous threats to his life – the optics of the case caused much comment.

Someplace legal experts have pointed to Rashid Rehman’s murder as a turning point in the case. Some accusations ring stronger than others, and in Hafeez’s case, his defence was not uneventful. With the tense situation surrounding the proceedings and reports of threats to those involved, there was a reaction to the accusation.

With the arguments from both the prosecution and defence heard over the course of the last six years, one can only wonder if the final adjudicating judge took all of this into account. Pieces of evidence in such a situation would have to be presented more than once, witness statements recorded repeatedly, to ensure that justice would be carried out properly. With judges constantly recusing themselves and the defence team chopping and changing, it is difficult to establish whether this trial was as fair as it should be, considering the seriousness of the accusation and the sentence of death.

A lengthy appeals process will likely follow and we can expect learned judges of the higher courts to take all of the twists and turns of the initial case into account as well. The only important thing is that justice, not influenced by any outside noise, takes precedence over all else.